Saturated Fat & Cancer Progression

Saturated Fat & Cancer Progression
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Does cutting down on saturated fat intake improve cancer-free survival?

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Does it have to be all or nothing, though? Researchers at the University of Texas followed a few hundred men after they had their prostates removed for cancer, and split them into a high saturated fat group and a low saturated fat group, and asked the simple question: does just cutting down on meat improve cancer-free survival?

Now this was Texas, so that meant comparing those who ate the equivalent of three-quarters of a bucket of fried chicken’s worth of saturated fat, to those eating half a bucket’s worth a day. The question is, did that modest drop in meat consumption significantly improve cancer-free survival, or do you really have to cut out all meat to see a significant effect?

This is how long men lived before their cancer came back, eating that much saturated fat a day. Those who ate less saturated fat got this far out before their cancer returned. Less than 20 months, versus more than 40 months. That’s the difference even a quarter bucket of chicken’s worth of saturated fat may make, if we have cancer. Obviously, cutting out all saturated animal fat is better, but it’s not all or nothing.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Does it have to be all or nothing, though? Researchers at the University of Texas followed a few hundred men after they had their prostates removed for cancer, and split them into a high saturated fat group and a low saturated fat group, and asked the simple question: does just cutting down on meat improve cancer-free survival?

Now this was Texas, so that meant comparing those who ate the equivalent of three-quarters of a bucket of fried chicken’s worth of saturated fat, to those eating half a bucket’s worth a day. The question is, did that modest drop in meat consumption significantly improve cancer-free survival, or do you really have to cut out all meat to see a significant effect?

This is how long men lived before their cancer came back, eating that much saturated fat a day. Those who ate less saturated fat got this far out before their cancer returned. Less than 20 months, versus more than 40 months. That’s the difference even a quarter bucket of chicken’s worth of saturated fat may make, if we have cancer. Obviously, cutting out all saturated animal fat is better, but it’s not all or nothing.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

20 responses to “Saturated Fat & Cancer Progression

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    1. Your okinawan study says nothing about high saturated fat, it says the opposite.
      ” Some of the most important factors that may protect against those cancers include low caloric intake, high vegetables/fruits consumption, higher intake of good fats (omega-3, mono-unsaturated fat), high fiber diet, high flavonoid intake, low body fat level, and high level of physical activity.” This implies plant based (high folate levels, unsaturated fats). Now looking at the Inuits. their lifespans are much shorter compared to the the peoples of Canada. They are on average 15 years shorter. Just because they don’t get prostate cancer doesn’t mean they are healthy. Cherry picking will get you no where, examine all relevant data.




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  1. Do you have a link to the study’s report? And why does the video use “saturated fat” and “meat” consumption interchangeably? (I realize meat has a significant amount of saturated fat but has a very different nutrient profile than, say, butter or cheese.)




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    1. If you click under the sources cited section you will see a link to the study. Animal products are the top sources of saturated fat. Butter and cheese are also high sources of saturated fat and are also harmful compared with other animal products.




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        1. First, humans don’t need the milk from other mammals to be healthy. Our species developed over 2 million years with never consuming it. Consumption began maybe 20,000 years ago, in certain populations, leaving 65% of the world’s population still lactose intolerant, i.e., 65% of people are incapable of digesting milk past infancy. http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2012/12/27/168144785/an-evolutionary-whodunit-how-did-humans-develop-lactose-tolerance
          Therefore, we do not need milk to be healthy. People who say that butter, cheese, and milk are essential to a healthy diet are talking nonsense.

          Second, every nutrient listed in the marketing brochure you linked to can be had with exposure to sunlight and healthy eating. The main “bulletproof” nutrient–butyrate–is made by our gut bacteria that produce it as a by-product of them “digesting” fiber that we eat. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/boosting-good-bacteria-in-the-colon-without-probiotics/
          The butyrate in cow’s milk is there because the cow has bacteria that break down the fiber it eats into butyrate. This begs the question: “Why do we need to drink milk for butyrate when our own gut bacteria make it when we eat lots of plants?” Answer: We don’t.

          Third, David Asprey, the “founder” of this bulletproof coffee fad is an entrepreneur. He found a way to legally separate people from their money, by way of giving it to him. He’s made a HUGE amount of money off of this silliness, showing how gullible people are, and how quick they are to believe anything, if it can provide a quick “fix.” http://www.businessinsider.com/bulletproof-coffee-dave-asprey-2017-4




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  2. I have been plant based diet for 4 years and just found out I have breast cancer and probably had it for 10 years. It measures approximately 5 cm. What vegetables to you suggest I should be eating most of to help get rid of this. I will probably have chemo and a mastectomy soon.




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    1. Sandy,
      I’m sorry to hear this. You have many options. Take some time to decide how to treat this.

      I was also eating a vegetarian, nearly vegan diet when I was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2009. My tumor was even larger than yours (5.2 x 5.9 cm).

      I started an anticancer diet as described in Dr. David Servan-Schreiber’s book, Anticancer: A New Way of Life. My tumor is much smaller and in remission now. The book has lists of foods that inhibit cancer cells listed by cancer type. The foods I concentrate on and include in most meals are garlic, onions, spinach or kale, cruciferous vegetables, and turmeric. These are at the top of the list for every type of cancer, but each cancer type is somewhat different in its response to particular foods, so take a look at the list for breast cancer too.

      Turmeric is not listed in the book, but it’s amazing for almost any ailment, cancer in particular. You only need about 1/4-1 teaspoon of it a day.

      I’d look at Ruth Heidrich. She was diagnosed in her 40’s with Stage 4 breast cancer and is now in her late 70’s, a triathlete, a vegan and an amazing success story. She followed the nutrition advice of Dr. John MacDougall and her story is also on his website.

      Best of luck to you, Sandy!

      Ellen




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  3. Do you have any specific diet recommendations for heptocellular carcinoma? My husband had Y90 treatment for a 7cm tumor in November. Since then all MRIs have had good results – no detectable cancer. Besides low salt and low cholesterol do you have any other suggestions? He is trying to gain wait after a major surgery last fall that left him skinny and weak. His overall health right now is good. Our goal is to get thru hep c treament this summer and try to put off a liver transplant as long as possible.




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  4. Now we are hearing an influx of saturated fat has no effect on CVA, heart attacks, stroke, etc, in fact today during another students presentation he states fat has no affect on any of it, the dietitians ask to clarify, and he again states he found no research supporting the facts on fat? why is this occurring again how hard is it to justify that yes indeed fat, saturated fat has negative affects on our health? I need a rebuttal and standing position on this.




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    1. HI Cameron, I don’t know if you are familiar with plant positive. But it is my #2 to nutritionfacts.org. Plant positive is dedicated to debunking paleo myths with an evidence based approach with the studies available. There are so many topics on plant positive and he is so thorough, the website is truly a goldmine. I think you will find your answers there
      http://plantpositive.com/




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  5. As mentioned in this video, choline is highly concentrated in cancer cells. What are ways to “siphen” the choline out? I’m heavily invested in the reversal of prostate cancer as someone close to me has metastasized prostate cancer and no treatments have been effective so far. If you have any resources or know of any resources to that would help guide me I would greatly appreciate it.




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  6. Jeremy,

    May I request that you have his tumor sequenced, asap. I appreciate that this is not answering the choline question however it might lead to a significant reversal of your friends prostate cancer. New treatments have radically changed the opportunity for targeted therapies that can be life saving.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger




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    1. Hi this is Daniela, nutritionfacts moderator.
      Just a few comments on choline. As you know, choline can build up to undesirable levels by consumption of animal foods, especially eggs, diary in generally meats. One way to start disposing of it is to switch to a plant based diet, a small sacrifice for such a serious condition like prostate cancer. Please see the choline articles on nutritionfacts.org: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/choline/.
      Also, please look up the protective effects of green tea, pomegranate, turmeric and broccoli, also broccoli sprouts, for more focused action. Please see this article on these powerful anticancer plants: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/best-supplements-for-prostate-cancer/. More important, keep in mind that consumption of the whole plant instead of various extracts was shown to be more effective.
      Finally, please check out https://nutritionfacts.org/video/second-strategy-to-cooking-broccoli/ to learn how to effectively extract the powerful anticancer compound, sulforaphane, from broccoli.
      I hope this helps, Daniela




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